A valu­able con­tri­bu­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION & FURTHER STUDIES FAIR -

UNIVER­SITY of Southamp­ton is to play a ma­jor role in a new na­tional cen­tre that will grow and trans­form the United King­dom’s ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture sec­tors, in­clud­ing trans­port, en­ergy sys­tems, clean wa­ter sup­plies, waste man­age­ment and flood de­fences.

Southamp­ton is one of 14 univer­si­ties work­ing in part­ner­ship with in­dus­try and govern­ment as part of the £ 138mil ( RM811.44mil) UK Col­lab­o­ra­to­rium for Re­search in In­fra­struc­ture and Cities net­work http:// www. ukcric. com/ ( UKCRIC).

This will be ex­panded over the com­ing years with more na­tional and in­ter­na­tional part­ners, both univer­sity and com­mer­cial.

The net­work was an­nounced as part of the Govern­ment’s Com­pre­hen­sive Spend­ing Re­view and Au­tumn State­ment ( page 64 un­der 2015- 16 and 2016- 17 key pro­ject starts: Con­struc­tion work on UK Col­lab­o­ra­to­rium for Re­search In In­fra­struc­ture and Cities hubs).

Southamp­ton’s con­tri­bu­tion to UKCRIC is a new £ 36mil ( RM211.68mil) Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Lab­o­ra­tory based at the univer­sity’s Bol­drewood In­no­va­tion Cam­pus, which is also home to Lloyd’s Reg­is­ter’s Global Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre and fur­ther ma­jor fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a 138m tow­ing tank and other ad­vanced fluid dy­nam­ics ex­per­i­men­tal fa­cil­i­ties.

The lab­o­ra­tory will house state- of- the- art teach­ing and re­search fa­cil­i­ties for geome­chan­ics, heavy struc­tures, solid me­chan­ics and in­fra­struc­ture en­gi­neer­ing. The fa­cil­i­ties will be used to de­velop new un­der­stand­ing of the be­hav­iour of large struc­tures and struc­tural com­po­nents, with em­pha­sis on in­fra­struc­ture, rail and mar­itime en­gi­neer­ing.

One of the ma­jor fo­cuses will be on rail trans­port – to meet chal­lenges such as im­prov­ing re­silience to the ef­fects of cli­mate change and the in­creas­ing de­mands on the net­work through the ef­fi­cient main­te­nance and upgrade of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture and the cost- ef­fec­tive de­sign and con­struc­tion of new in­fra­struc­ture.

The univer­sity’s cur­rent work in this area is sup­ported by the En­gi­neer­ing and Phys­i­cal sci­ences re­search Coun­cil ( EPSRC) through the Pro­gramme Grant Track­2theFu­ture, the EU pro­ject Shift2Rail and in­dus­try part­ners such as Net­work Rail, HS1, HS2, Na­tional Grid and EDF.

The Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing and the En­vi­ron­ment dean Prof Wil­liam Powrie said, “This sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing will en­able us to grow our world- lead­ing re­search, teach­ing and en­ter­prise ac­tiv­i­ties, and to com­plete the de­vel­op­ment of our Bol­drewood In­no­va­tion Cam­pus.

“The ad­di­tion of the new build­ing will make this a flag­ship cam­pus for the univer­sity and for the re­gion, en­abling us to de­velop the new knowl­edge needed for mean­ing­ful ad­vances at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els in in­fra­struc­ture en­gi­neer­ing and rail trans­port – both ma­jor ar­eas of ex­per­tise and spe­cial­ism for Southamp­ton.

“It will also al­low us to ed­u­cate more of the imag­i­na­tive, ver­sa­tile, high- qual­ity en­gi­neers that the coun­try so des­per­ately needs, in an en­vi­ron­ment where knowl­edge is cre­ated and ex­ploited, rather than merely passed on.”

Ini­tial re­search projects will be funded by the EPSRC, Lloyd’s Reg­is­ter and Net­work Rail, to­gether with other in­fra­struc­ture own­ers and oper­a­tors and sup­ply chain com­pa­nies.

Prof Powrie adds, “We ex­pect the ex­panded range of ac­tiv­ity catal­ysed by the new fa­cil­i­ties will lead to new jobs, both di­rectly and in due course by busi­nesses be­com­ing es­tab­lished in the area to ex­ploit the op­por­tu­ni­ties on of­fer.”

Through world- lead­ing re­search and en­ter­prise ac­tiv­i­ties, Univer­sity of Southamp­ton con­nects with busi­nesses to cre­ate real- world so­lu­tions to global is­sues.

Through its ed­u­ca­tional of­fer­ing, it works with part­ners around the world to of­fer rel­e­vant, flex­i­ble education, which trains stu­dents for jobs not even thought of.

This con­nec­tiv­ity is what sets Southamp­ton apart from the rest – it makes a con­nec­tion and changes the world.

Find out more at http:// www. southamp­ton. ac. uk/.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the new Na­tional in­fra­struc­ture Lab­o­ra­tory.

do some­thing fun at least three times a week, such as ten­nis or paint­ball, to keep fit.

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